*The Empire Strikes Back* at NY Philharmonic, 9/26/17
I saw *The Empire Strikes Back* (aka *Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back*) at the NY Philharmonic on 9/26/17. I had only seen the movie twice before - - when it first came out and when it was re-released in the nineties. They had photo ops in the lobby like they did for *Star Wars* a few weeks ago, though maybe not on such a grand scale. I waited in line for ten minutes for a picture with Lord Vader, and am so glad I did! In this photo I'm walking up to him and saying, "How do you do, Lord Vader. It's an honor to meet you."
I was a little disappointed that he was so short - - I don't think he was any taller than me, which means that he's only 6' 3". He seems at least 6' 8" in the movies. But then my friend Jori says that movie stars are always shorter than you think...
And remember that cute woman I saw at *Star Wars,* with the R2D2 handbag?
Turns out she's the friend of a friend. We were introduced via email earlier that day and met in person before the performance. She was going for a more Dark Side look:
The audience was still totally geeked out, applauding and cheering at every opportunity, but most of the time respectful and silent. I think the audience aspect of these performances will end up being one of the highlights. Though I was disappointed to see so many empty seats (maybe they were just in the third balcony). I have a theory that Yoda is the love child of Grover and Miss Piggy. Anyone have a connection to the Muppets, and can confirm this? I had forgotten that Yoda was so playful, he's pretty goofy when he first appears. It's impressive how they're able to make the transition to him being wise. I'm sure the music and the camera work have a lot to do with that. As expected, the audience cheered when he said, "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda made me think of Pai Mei from *Kill Bill Vol. 2.* They're both highly demanding, but also quite tender. Another movie reference: Han and Leia are reminiscent of a classic screwball comedy duo, like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. I love that Leia is so strong and powerful in this movie. She is nobody's damsel in distress, Luke plays that role. There seemed to be less music in this movie than in *Star Wars,* or maybe the music is just less prominent. The orchestra played like the stars they are. They quoted John Williams in the program notes, saying that he wrote highly demanding music for the brass, and wrote it to be played in small doses in a recording studio, not to be played in a continuous performance. I bet they were good and worn out when it was over.